Siam Cement (SCC), one of Thailand’s leading industrial conglomerates, said it will issue 20 billion baht worth of debentures next year for debt refinancing to enable it to bring down its annual interest debt burden. SCC’s vice-president Karn Trakulhun said the combined interest debt for SCC next year is expected to fall to one billion baht against a combined interest debt of six billion baht this year. SCC had a combined interest debt of 10 billion baht in 2001 and a total interest debt of eight billion baht in 2002, said Karn.
“SCC wants to issue 20 billion baht of debentures next year to finance its existing debt. Besides, SCC is of a view that the costs of debenture issuance under the present economic circumstance are not high, while market demand for debentures remains strong,” Karn told reporters. Currently, SCC has a combined debt of 100 billion baht, 80 billion baht of which is debt from previous debenture issuance by SCC, said Karn.
Karn also said he expects SCC to have a strong operating result next year on expectations of strong sales revenue amid strong demand in the market. Despite that, Karn refused to give a specific figure on sales revenue forecast for 2005, saying that the level of SCC’s revenue growth next year depends on the rise in the price of petrochemical products and papers. Regarding the present level of the baht/dollar, Karn said it has not had much negative impact on SCC’s current operating results. For the whole of this year, the baht is expected to average 41 baht against the dollar and the average of 40 baht per dollar next year, said Karn.
SCC has exported cement worth a combined value of $1 billion to foreign markets, said Karn. SCC has also imported $500-$600 worth of machinery for local production this year, he said.